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Italian clubs have voted to delay the start of the new Serie A season by two weeks due to a a failure to resolve a row over television rights.

The season had been due to start on September 1 but the Italian Football League has voted to start the season on September 15 as eight of the smaller Serie A clubs are still without pay-per-view television deals for next season.

The decision, although not unexpected, represents a huge embarrassment to Italian football which has been dogged by financial problems this year, partly due to the reduction in the money television channels are prepared to pay for the right to screen live matches.

The eight Serie A clubs yet to negotuate a deal are: Atalanta, Brescia, Chievo, Como, Empoli, Modena, Perugia and Piacenza.

The clubs are demanding €10 million each for the rights to live coverage of their home games this season while the two pay-TV companies (Telepiu and Stream) have offered only €4.5 million.

Further bad news for theleague comes with the failure to agree a figure with state-owned RAI for a highlights package programme.

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